IABSM: Poland 1939: Polish Rifle Infantry Company

As promised yesterday, here's what I expect will be the mainstay of any Polish force: the basic rifle infantry company.

This was a very interesting list to put together, mainly because of the unusually large paper strength of Polish infantry squads and the way in which they were armed:  how do you deal with a 19-man infantry platoon armed with bolt-action rifles and BAR on the table-top?

I suppose the place to start is with the lists in the v2 theatre supplement, Blitzkrieg! Here, Richard Clarke’s Polish infantry squads have ten men, and are split into squads with BAR and squads without. He has, however, given the company HQ an extra squad.

I have chosen to do things a little differently.

Firstly, I have the on-table strength of an infantry rifle squad as twelve. This is a decrease of the same proportion as used for German infantry squads.

Secondly, I have chosen not to differentiate between those squads with or without a BAR (assuming that BARs would be spread as evenly as possible throughout a force) but to penalise the firepower of the larger infantry squads by capping their Actions (and therefore firing dice) at ‘3’ right the way through from eight to twelve men. This represents a combination of dealing with an unwieldy number of men, the reduced ROF of the BAR versus a true LMG (without semi-automatic rifles to compensate as in later war US squads), and an allowance for the fact that a certain number of squads might be missing BARs entirely.

This seems to me to be a good compromise: especially as the large squads capped at three Actions represent units that showed no particular extra training to their contemporaries, but will effectively be braver than most as they will stick around for longer.

Those who disagree with my interpretations, above, are at liberty to field “understrength” squads of ten, subtracting one dice to any fire from a squad without a BAR.

To see the Polish rifle infantry company list, click on the picture. Or to see all currently available lists on the Poland 1939 page, click here.